"Most of us are ill-prepared to face what lies ahead. In a death-denying society, how do we ready ourselves for our human fate? How do we prepare for the end of our lives?
To this end, The 100% Certainty Project uses books to spark dialogue amongst citizens with the hope that grassroots efforts begin to build the social fabric we all will need at end-of-life. The project attempts to de-medicalize the experience of death & dying and engage community agencies and activists. We encourage the public to read and talk about books – books with themes of death, dying, bereavement, and loss. By facilitating conversation at dining room tables, in coffee shops and on street corners across Greater Hamilton and beyond, this reading initiative aims to increase public awareness about death & dying and lessen society’s discomfort facing death." Source: The 100% Certainty Project
Please join us for the first in a series of FREE public events. As part of the Division of Palliative Care at McMaster University with McMaster Faculty of Health Sciences, and our "The 100% Certainty Project. Death: Something to Talk About" initiative, together with Heart House Hospice, am honoured to co-host and moderate this event at the Mississauga Library with my brilliant friend and colleague Dr. Kathy Kortes-Miller. While the event is free, registration is required via the Mississauga Public Library at (905) 615 4835.
In support of National Hospice Palliative Care Week, we'll hear about her experiences as a parent and spouse facing a cancer diagnosis, as a Social Worker in Palliative Care and as an academic researcher and educator. At this event, Kathy will share her insight and explore some of the big questions about living and dying. We'll also open up the conversation to the audience - questions are welcome. Please email questions in advance to our "100% Certainty" email address: firstname.lastname@example.org or, join us and ask Dr. Kortes-Miller directly. Her book "Talking About Death Won't Kill You. The Essential Guide to End-of-Life Conversations" will also be on sale at each event.
Grief and Loss impacts Everyone.
Am honoured to co-host and co-facilitate this free public event. In support of Children's Grief Awareness Day and National Bereavement Day, "The 100% Certainty Project – Death: Something to Talk About" is hosting a FREE public event for parents and children at the Hamilton Public Library. Please join us for:
- a reading of the children’s book The Funeral by Matt James, award-winning Author
- a creative family activity exploring grief, loss and meaningful connections
CBC Books on The Funeral: "This sensitive and life-affirming story will lead young readers to ask their own questions about life, death and how we remember those who have gone before us"
Please note, this is not a counselling session or grief support group.
While this is a free event, registration is REQUIRED via: https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/free-public-event-for-parents-and-children-on-grief-and-bereavement-tickets-50531981517
Honoured to offer "Exploring the Language of Loss: Caring, Supporting and Empowering" as the Opening Keynote for the PalCare Network 2018 Fall Symposium.
This workshop will explore the language of loss while also examining tools and resources to support individuals, families, and ourselves.
1. Examine the impact of loss in person and family-centred care
2. Encourage the caregiver to engage in the dialogue of loss
3. Explore self-care as an essential element of professional practice
For more information about the PalCare 2018 Fall Symposium, or to register, please visit: http://www.palcarenetwork.org/
Excited to present "From Diagnosis to Bereavement: Engaging the Public Across the Continuum" at the 2018 Partners in Care: Central West Palliative Care Network Annual Conference.
1. Consider systems challenges impacting care of people facing dying and loss;
2. Examine psychosocial implications for individuals, families and healthcare providers facing illness, grief and bereavement;
3. Explore compassionate community events as essential opportunities to engage the public following a life-limiting diagnosis through to bereavement.
For more information, or to register, please visit: http://cwpcn.ca/en/annual-conference/
Excited to co-host and participate on the panel for the launch of the 2018-9 season of "The 100% Certainty Project. Death: Something to Talk About". Join us for a screening of the Netflix documentary, "END GAME" followed by a conversation with Palliative Care clinicians.
Our free public event at McMaster University features the brilliant documentary "End Game" from Shoshana Ungerleider, MD highlighting the essential tenets of Hospice Palliative Care. The film showcases the collaboration, compassion and communication as the heart of person and family-centred care at UCSF Medical Center with Steven Pantilat and the extraordinary interprofessional team. The film also highlights the brilliant work of Zen Hospice Project, showcasing Dr. BJ Miller and the extraordinary interprofessional team in Hospice.
Please join us for this engaging event! While the event is free, registration is required via Eventbrite via https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/end-game-documentary-and-discussion-tickets-50535681584
“The key to providing decent palliative care is a little bit of basic planning. Four conditions – cancer, cardiovascular disease, COPD (lung disease) and diabetes – account for 70 per cent of deaths.
Those chronic conditions all have fairly predictable courses of illness in the terminal phase. You don’t get diagnosed with lung cancer or heart failure one day and die the next. It’s a months-long process and providing pain relief (palliation) should be standard, and a priority.
Two in three people receive home care in their last year of life. But only one in seven receive palliative care in the home.
That’s the failure point – and that’s what we need to fix.
There needs to be a commitment – philosophical and financial – to bringing palliative care to patients when they need it and where they want it.
Not everyone can (or should) be cared for at home in their final days. It’s back-breaking, emotionally-draining work for loved ones. Yet many would do so willingly and lovingly.
But they run up against a gross number of barriers, ranging from difficultly getting home visits from physicians (who are poorly remunerated for that work in many provinces), lack of nursing support (because of caps on home care hours), and absurd rules that mean drugs taken at home are not covered by medicare.
All the problems raised by the CIHI report are easily resolved. For example, having paramedics provide palliative care can eliminate transfers to hospitals. Sending doctors and nurses to homes or nursing homes can free up hospital beds – and save money in the process. Not to mention that, at the very least, people deserve a modicum of dignity in their dying days.
The whole point of palliative care is to improve quality of life. We shouldn’t let bureaucratic and structural inadequacies undermine that necessary and noble work.“ by the brilliant André Picard via The Globe and Mail
Thrilled to be teaching Professional Competencies with the Michael G. DeGroote School of Medicine at McMaster University.
"In Pre-Clinical studies, Professional Competencies (Pro Comp) runs in parallel to the Medical Foundations. Groups of 8-10 students work with a pair of facilitators, one MD and one a clinician from a different discipline. The groups stay together for the entirety of Pre-Clinical, meeting every Tuesday morning for 3 hours. They explore material covering seven domains: effective communication, medical decision-making, moral reasoning and ethical judgement, population health, professionalism and self-awareness and self-care, interprofessional practice and social, cultural and humanistic dimensions of health." via https://mdprogram.mcmaster.ca/mcmaster-md-program/what-is-compass2/pre-clinical/pro-comp
Honoured to be teaching with the Lyle S. Hallman Faculty of Social Work at Wilfrid Laurier University again this year. Excited to be teaching "Social Work Practice with Groups" to the Undergraduate Bachelor of Social Work Program, and "Advanced Practice with Families" to the Graduate Master of Social Work Program.
For more information about the innovative B.S.W Program or the M.S.W. Program, please visit:
Am truly honoured to be presenting "Breaking Down Barriers in the Context of Complex Illness, Uncertainty and Grief" at the Ontario College of Social Workers and Social Service Workers 2018 Annual Meeting and Education Day.
Serious illness, dying and grief remain taboo in society, yet the diagnosis of a serious illness has a profound impact on an individual and their loved ones, and often results in feelings of uncertainty, isolation and grief.
This presentation will explore the role of social work and social service work in providing compassionate care for individuals and families of all ages following the diagnosis of a complex illness, at end of life and into bereavement. I will speak to the roles of social work and social service work in providing education to demystify these issues and further advocate to break down barriers while promoting greater access to support, within our own practice and within our communities.
For more information, please visit: http://www.ocswssw.org/members/amed/2018-amed/
Excited to facilitate this interactive workshop at the 11th Annual Day in Faculty Development with the Faculty of Health Sciences at McMaster University.
This interactive workshop will engage learners and faculty by exploring the common language of loss through different scenarios while also examining tools and resources to support families, learners and ourselves.
1. Examine the impact of loss in person and family-centred care
2. Encourage the learner to engage in the dialogue of loss
3. Explore self care as an essential element of professional practice
For information, or to register, please visit: https://fhs.mcmaster.ca/facdev/online_registration.html
Excited to co-host our next free public event with the Department of Family Medicine, Division of Palliative Care at McMaster University. This evening is part of our compassionate community initiative, “The 100% Certainty Project. Death: Something to Talk About". We will: feature the book “Extreme Measures" by Dr. Jessica Nutik Zitter; view the remarkable Oscar-nominated documentary “Extremis” from Shoshana Ungerleider, MD; provide Advance Care Planning resources from the Canadian Hospice Palliative Care Association; and close the evening with a panel discussion comprised of clinicians and educators. This free public event in support of National Advance Care Planning Day. To register, please visit: Eventbrite
Honoured to present "Breaking Down Barriers: The Role of Social Work and Social Service Work in the Context of Complex Illness, Uncertainty and Grief" at the OCSWSSW 2018 AMED.
"Serious illness, dying and grief remain taboo in society, yet the diagnosis of a serious illness has a profound impact on an individual and their loved ones, and often results in feelings of uncertainty, isolation and grief. This presentation will explore the role of social work and social service work in providing compassionate care for individuals and families of all ages following the diagnosis of a complex illness, at end of life and into bereavement.
Elizabeth will speak to the roles of social work and social service work in providing education to demystify these issues and further advocate to break down barriers while promoting greater access to support, within our own practice and within our communities."
For information, or to register, please visit: OCSWSSW
Am excited to co-facilitate this event with the Division of Palliative Care at McMaster University as we discuss, "What makes life worth living in the face of death?".
Many healthcare students and providers do not feel prepared to encounter dying and death. As part of our 100% Certainty Project. Death: Something to Talk About, this event will feature: the stunning memoir When Breath Becomes Air; will show the brilliant TED Talk from Dr. Lucy Kalanithi; and will conclude the evening with a Death Cafe where we will discuss how to make the most of our finite lives.
Dinner is provided. Registration is required and space is limited. All healthcare disciplines are welcome!
For information, or to register, visit:
As we all encounter serious illnesses, uncertainty, grief, death and bereavement, there is a remarkable opportunity to create compassionate care for individuals and families of all ages, from time of diagnosis, into remission, at end of life and into bereavement.
It is so essential to demystify the incredible breadth and interprofessional scope of a Palliative approach to care in the education of all health science students and healthcare professionals.
It was a wonderful honour to speak with Death By Design Podcast - Kimberly C. Paul about the future of healthcare. As death is not elective, and illness and dying do not discriminate, we all encounter life-limiting illness, dying and grief. So... let's talk about it.
This episode is available via: http://www.deathbydesign.com/podcast/season-2-episode-10-c-elizabeth-dougherty/
"Live. Put your phone down. Talk to the person in front of you. Hold the door for people. Smile if someone catches your eye. Say thank you. Say please. Give hugs. Compliment people. Compliment yourself. Love yourself. No one will remember what size the pants are you are wearing but they will remember the way you walked in them. So walk softly. Speak boldly. Love gently. Laugh loudly. Call someone if they cross your mind. Allow yourself to be happy for others, and most importantly allow yourself to be happy for yourself, through every stage and step of your life. Be happy. Life doesn't have to be perfect for it to be perfect."
In Celebration of World Hospice Palliative Care Day, and in support of the Burlington Compassionate City Charter and the Carpenter Hospice, the Burlington Death Café will be held on October 11th, 2017 from 7-9pm at Emma's Back Porch.
Death Café is an international movement where people, often strangers, gather together to eat, drink and discuss death. The objective is 'to increase awareness of death with a view to helping people make the most of their (finite) lives’.
At Death Café, you can expect a group directed discussion of death with no agenda, objectives or themes. It is a discussion group, rather than grief support or a counselling session. It is a respectful, public event where people of all communities and belief systems are welcome to have discussions about death.
Interesting conversation is guaranteed!
This is a free public event, but seating is limited. For information, or to register, please visit Eventbrite
For more information about Death Café, please visit http://deathcafe.com/
"Palliative Care is an often misunderstood specialty, focused on providing support and pain management strategies to cancer patients throughout all stages of their illness. This approach, which can be blended into curative cancer therapy, focuses on care for the whole person: mind, body, and spirit."
" Families with unfinished business had significantly higher depression and grief scores after bereavement compared with those without."
"I tell them that it’s never my goal to glamorize death or tell people how they should or shouldn’t feel about death. I only hope my writing gives people permission to broach the topic."